' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: Laws, Searching, Reunion

Laws, Searching, Reunion

State and Federal Laws Related to Adoption
Department of Health and Human Services, Child Welfare Information Gateway
Laws Related to Adoption and State Statute Search.

State laws regarding consent to adoption:
Department of Health and Human Services, Child Welfare Information Gateway

Oregon's Access to Court Records Law
Adoptees over 18 may inspect and copy their adoption court records except the home study just by asking for them at the clerk's office in the courthouse in the county their adoption took place.

First mothers and fathers who consented to the adoption may inspect and copy some of the records with an order from a judge. The judge must allow access unless the judge finds a good reason not to grant access which is not likely.

Instructions and forms are on the Oregon Judicial Department's website.

Law allowing all adoptees access to their original birth certificate goes into effect July 1, 2021.

Natural parents, adoptees, and adoptive parents  can get their child's entire court file including after the original birth certificate adoptees turns 18. For forms and information about this law, see Adoption Circle of Hawai'i.

States Allowing Adoptees Access to Original Birth Certificates
Arkansas--effective 7/1/17 Mothers have one year to demand their names be redacted; if they do, they have to provide medical information
Colorado--with first mother veto
Delaware with first mother veto
Illinois--with first mother veto
Indiana--for adoptees born between 1941-1994 with first mother veto
Maryland with restrictions
Massachusetts--for adoptees born before 1974 and after 2007
Michigan--partial with restrictions
Minnesota--partial with restrictions
Missouri--adoptees born before 1941 can get their original birth certificates after 8/28/16; adoptees born after that date can get their birth certificates after 1/19/18 
Montana-- for persons adopted prior to 10/1/97, access at 30 years post birth; for persons adopted on or after 10/1/97, access at 18 years with first mother right to remove potential disclosure veto made only at the time of relinquishment. No new disclosure vetoes available post relinquishment; effective 10/1/2015
Nebraska--partial with restrictions
New Hampshire
New Jersey--effective 1/1/2017 with first mother veto
New York
Ohio-- with first mother veto
Oklahoma--for adoptees born after 1/1/97 with first mother veto
Pennsylvania--with first mother redaction if she requests
Rhode Island
Tennessee--with restrictions
Vermont--with restrictions
Washington--with first mother veto
Wisconsin--with restrictions

The following sites may have more current information: Adoption Search and Reunion and The American Adoption Congress

Finding Legal Help
American Bar Association

Searching for a Loved One Lost to Adoption
Department of Health and Human Services, Child Welfare Information Gateway

American Adoption Congress

Bastard Nation

International Soundex Reunion Registry -- Free registry which connects people when a match is found.

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